An Uber driver has been charged over the death of a passenger in Sydney this year.
The 30-year-old passenger was hit by a bus and killed in Elizabeth Street in the early hours of Saturday, June 17.
Police allege the man got out of the car at a set of traffic lights near Bathurst Street and then fell into the path of a bus when the car accelerated away.
Emergency services were called, but the man died at the scene.
The driver had been working for 21 hours without a substantial break at the time, police said.
There were no passengers on the bus, but there were a number of witnesses who were given support following the incident.
“It’s very sad occasion,” Inspector Kerrie Brill from Sydney City Local Area Command said at the time.
“It’s very upsetting for the bus driver and he has provided a statement and has helped us with our inquires.”
On Sunday evening, the 30-year-old Uber driver was issued with a court attendance notice for negligent driving occasioning death.
He is due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on January 24.
An Uber spokesman said the June incident was a “tragedy” and the company’s hearts went out to the family.
“Following the incident, we reached out to law enforcement and offered to help in any way we could.”
The ride-sharing company introduced a 12-hour driving shift in NSW on October 27.
“The Uber app was updated to automatically log off drivers for a six-hour break when they have been online and driving for 12 hours,” the Uber spokesman said.
“This policy has helped keep drivers safe on the road and is being expanded to all of Australia starting this Friday December 8.”
RideShare Drivers United spokesman Max B said the lobby group had been pushing for shift limits since since February 2017, and he had heard “many cases” of drivers doing 16- or 18-hour driving shifts.
He said drivers did long shifts because of “unsustainable base rates”, but 12-hour driving shifts were “much better” than unlimited ones.
While there have been reports of drivers avoiding the limit by using a friend’s login, the spokesman said it would be a “negligible” percentage of drivers doing it.
As well as Uber being able to request to take a photograph of the driver during the shift to see who’s driving, the spokesman said passengers could also report if their driver did not match the photograph in the app.
“I’m not saying people are not [getting around the limit] … but it would be a very small percentage.”
He said drivers risked “immediate deactivation” if they were caught.
Clarification: The RSDU was initially reported as a union, but it is a lobby group.
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